Why I entered Miss Viva Las Vegas
As I mentioned in my previous post, I'd like to spend the run up to the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest 2018 sharing more about why I decided to enter and what it all means to me. Not only is this an amazingly fun thing to be involved in, for me, it's actually a major accomplishment not just in my pinup career, but it's a major accomplishment for my own personal self belief and courage. Through my social media pagesI've spoken many a time about my love of helping ladies find their own inner confidence and self expression, in whatever kind of style that might be. I've also talked a little about my own struggles with social anxiety and how I have built the confidence to style myself the way I do in spite of these feelings, so today I thought I'd speak a little about why it took me so long to enter this contest, and how effing incredible it feels to have finally done it!!
Overall I've been to Vegas 4 times now, and April will be my 5th visit over there. I went for my 21st birthday, to promote my business, as a celebration for successfully winning a copyright infringement case and the 4th time, I got engaged, so Vegas has a pretty special place in my heart! I don't know whether it's the shininess, the lights, the kitschness, or just the craziness of the place that I love more but I do know the way it makes me feel. I feel completely at ease in Vegas, I've had some quite awful experiences in the past with people who did not appreciate my look, which dramatically affected my anxiety and confidence which I'm still learning to overcome, but over there, they seem to melt away. I think it's because everything is so OTT there that I feel like I'm not the odd one out and I just feel so comfortable just being me!
Each time I've visited I think I've brought more of that comfort back home with me and learnt to not listen to that silly inner voice in my head that brings up doubts or insecurities. I feel like I've definitely learnt a lot about what it is I truly love about the vintage and pinup style and I've married that up with what makes me feel good in my own skin too. So my love for Vegas run pretty deep because of all this. So much so that whenever I see people at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend I'm suuuuper jealous, I always follow the hashtags and stalk everyone over there, watching all the fun and swooning over the outfits and hairdos, especially the ladies who have entered the Pinup Contest.
I've wanted to enter this contest for 5 years now, ever since I first watched the show in person, I've even written up my application two times for previous years but I'd always chickened out of entering for many reasons. There's the usual 'I can't afford the travel' reasons, but I think the main reason I hadn't entered is because I just didn't feel I was good enough, and I don't mean that in a self depreciating way, I mean it in the way that I didn't feel I was ready to be able to truly represent myself and the pinup community in the way that I, or it should be.
I love being a cheerleader for my customers and people I meet online, helping ladies get started within the vintage and pinup world is one of my favourite things, and I love encouraging them to find what makes them truly happy, and what makes them feel beautiful, in their own image. But most of the time I wasn't actually following through on my own advice for myself! I'm very guilty of putting things off like the contest application or new ventures because I didn't think anything would come from it, or that anyone would be interested, which now I know is completely ridiculous, because how are we going to grow confidence and learn from things if never just go for it and put ourselves out there, regardless of the end result.
2017 was a weird year for me, there was a lot going on with my anxiety flaring up, personal goings on and other things that I won't bore you with here, but it came to a head in late November when I had a badass pep talk with my wonderful sister Lynsey who said I should just focus 2018 on doing all the things I'd either put off, thought I couldn't do or the things that scared me. That same night, all pumped up with female empowerment, I went home, opened up the saved application form I'd been writing since September and just entered the contest I'd been dreaming about for years! It felt incredible, just hitting that send button, it was a wonderful rush of excitement and nervousness and I felt liberated! It may sound like such an over the top reaction to something so small but to me it felt like a huge win for my personal belief! Regardless of whether I got through or not, I'd finally just done the damn thing! And now that I'm one of the 12 finalists and I get to actually be on that stage, well I think you can tell just what that might mean to me already... in a nut shell, I feel incredible. Yeah, there's a lot of nerves and wondering where the hell I'm going to find the travel funds and outfits, but with that, comes this overwhelming need to get my hustle on and really work for what I need! So if you're ready this and have felt like your stuck, lacked the courage or motivation or just feel the need to do something entirely just for you then please, PLEASE just go for it! I can assure you, after the initial nervous panic, this amazing rush of self confidence and empowerment will make it all worth while, and if it's something you really want or have yearned for for years like me, then god, it'll feel even better!! You can do this!
The Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest is held on Saturday 21st April, hosted by Rockwell DeVil. If you're attending Viva this year PLEASE come and find me, or I'll find you as there will also be a public vote to help pick the winner!
Thank you xx